|Unity Church of North Easton News|
|"We Pledge to Walk Together..."||
Volume 3, No. 1, July 12, 2013
Lay Ministry Wisdom
We Pledge to Walk Together
One year ago we were in a very different place, one of uncertainty and fear. We knew that we didn't have the money to sustain full time ministry and that posed what seemed to be insurmountable challenges. How would we fill the pulpit, how would we care for our members and at the same time sustain our membership?
We got together and held caring, insightful and productive congregational discussions where people voiced their concerns and presented their ideas of how we could move forward: we pledged to walk together.
We pledged to walk together in the ways of truth and affection by forming the Caring CommUnity, a group of dedicated volunteers who take notes during joys and concerns and send cards to those of us who are going through a difficult time, who make meals or just lend an ear. They are there when we need them and those of us whom they have helped have been truly grateful.
We pledged to walk together in worship. The Worship Committee had the biggest challenge ahead of them. They added new members to the committee and began filling the pulpit every Sunday with meaningful worship services by both lay-led and guest ministers. They also sponsored an alternative Sunday Service. We started the first part of the service in the sanctuary and then we all went down to Parish Hall to make meals for members in need. Not only did this gathering make a significant contribution to our community, but I think all who were involved enjoyed the camaraderie.
This past year I have enjoyed so many of our services, particularly those that were lay-led; I took something meaningful away from each one that I attended.
We pledged to walk together in social action. We continued to do the good work that we have done in the past; the New Day holiday food and clothing drive and the Mother's Day concert. We also stepped up to coordinate efforts to raise money for the victims of Hurricane Sandy and those affected by the Newtown tragedy. Unity was also involved in the School on Wheel's Outrunning Homelessness 5k Run. Over 20 people from Unity attended the Run and through our efforts, we were responsible for contributing over $1000 to the cause.
It was a year where we inducted Audrey Davies into the Clara Barton Society, completely revamped the Web site, and had a baby naming ceremony for the newest Tim family member. We also held a Winter Solstice Service and the kids did a great service on the golden rule. We kept moving forward by doing the simple things that mean so much more.
In a year that could have been tainted by inefficiency and disorganization we have shined. In a year when we all needed to step up we did. We have become closer as a congregation in our successful effort to survive.
How did we do that? We pledged to walk together and we did. The truth is that the structure and workings of a church are only as good as the church's volunteers and we have great volunteers. Normally at June Jubilee, we do volunteer recognition. We call out the name of everyone that has volunteered in the past year and most of the congregation gets a chance to stand up and be recognized.
This year, however, it is the whole congregation that is being recognized. I want to thank you if you served on a committee, greeted on a Sunday morning or hosted coffee hour. I want to thank you if you sang in the choir, played in the band or bell choir, or sang out from the pews. I want to thank you if you were a worship associate or led a service or just took a chance on us this year by coming to church. I want to thank you if you came to any or all of the many congregational meetings. I want to thank you if you taught Sunday school. In short, I want to thank all of you for stepping up at a time when it would have been much easier to walk away.
There are tokens of gratitude for everyone. For the kids, we have these really cool stickers and for the adults we have Unity Church key chains. These are only symbols of thanks but please believe that without the hard work and dedication of all of you, this successful year would not have been possible. We pledged to walk together and we did so with perseverance and we did so to the fullest of our ability. More importantly, we did so because we truly care for one another. People were then asked to
come up after service and take a sticker or a key chain and know that they are small in size but couldn't be bigger in meaning. June Jubilee is a time to pat ourselves on the back and look back at the year in review. I think this year we should celebrate the future; one that is bright and one that has been made bright by our commitment to walk down an uncertain path with the knowledge that together we could do anything.
- by Chris Pender, President, at June Jubilee 2013
If you were not able to attend June Jubilee, please see Chris in September for your key chain.
UUA President Issues Statement on Historic Decisions on Marriage Equality
"Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, the highest court of our country, stood on the side of love with its decision in United States v. Windsor declaring that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment.
This is a proud and momentous day for all who have suffered under this law and felt discrimination based on their sexual orientation. It is a victory for the principle that civil rights belong to all.
In the Proposition 8 case of Hollingsworth v. Perry, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal over same-sex marriage on jurisdictional grounds, essentially paving the way for marriage equality in California.
While I am disappointed that the Supreme Court did not declare the freedom to marry as a constitutionally-protected "equal protection" right that would apply to all states, I applaud this historic step towards equality.
The Unitarian Universalist Association joined two amicus curiae briefs
in these cases with other religious organizations in support of marriage equality. In both cases, the UUA argued that a broad cross-section of religious denominations recognize the dignity of lesbian and gay people and their relationships, recognize the necessary distinction between civil and religious marriage, and recognize that civil marriages of same-sex couples will not impinge upon religious beliefs or practices, but rather will prevent one set of religious beliefs from being imposed on others through civil law.
Unitarian Universalists have been vocal supporters of marriage equality for decades. I thank them for their dedicated commitment to our Unitarian Universalist principle of affirming the worth and dignity of every person.
There is still so much work to be done to ensure equal protection for all who live and love in our country. As we know, marriage equality strengthens families, protects children, and ensures the basic rights of citizenship for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples.
It remains my fervent hope that soon marriage equality is afforded to all in this country. Unitarian Universalists will continue to stand on the side of love with all families."
UCNE Editorial Note:
Unity Church has a long and proud tradition of being a Welcoming Congregation - welcoming all people in the fullness of who they are. Our ministers performed commitment ceremonies for same-sex couples long before marriage was legal in Massachusetts, and then celebrated again with the 2004 MA Supreme Judicial Court decision making Massachusetts the first U.S. state to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples.
What you might not know is that the Town Easton also strives to be a welcoming community. On the first day that marriage licenses were available to same-sex couples in May 2004, the Town Administrator and several Selectman stood outside the Town Clerk's office, congratulated couples as they arrived, and gave them flowers.
We are proud to be part of this extended community, and happy that the rest of the country seems to be catching up with us!
If you would like to learn more about what this means, how striking down DOMA may affect federal rights, benefits, and protections, there is a wonderful set of fact sheets that were compiled by GLAD (Gay & Lesbian Defenders & Advocates)
with information from several LGBT advocacy organizations. Click here for that information and more.
Fall is Coming! The RE Program Needs YOU!
We are currently looking for volunteers to teach Religious Education this fall! The format will be a bit different than in years past. There will only be three classrooms this fall (one class each of PreSchool/Kindergarten, First/Second, and Third-Eighth).
I hope to have three teachers for each room, to eliminate the panicked rush for substitute teachers if someone cannot make it! The three teachers each week do not need to be the same people, so if you are interested in teaching, but know that you cannot commit to the full ten weeks - just let Deanna know
which weeks you would like to help out! We would love to have you!
Unity Church Music Opportunities
The Choir rehearses every Sunday morning at nine o'clock, sings anthems, leads hymn singing, and sings in concerts and special services throughout the year. All who love singing are welcome in our choir.
The Handbell Choir rehearses every Wednesday night
from September through May. They play in church services on the third Su nday of every month. They also play concerts throughout the year, Those wishing to become part of the handbell choir should contact Richard Hill.
The Band includes all who show interest. They rehearse on the first and fourth Thursdays of each month and perform in church services on the second Sunday of each month. All who wish to join the band are welcome at rehearsals.
The Youth Choir rehearses on Sundays after the church service at 12:00 PM and sings on the fourth Sunday of each month. All are welcome!
Instrumentalists are invited to perform in church services. To arrange dates for rehearsals and performances
, please contact Richard Hill at
Musical Notes in 2013 - 2014
Worship & Fellowship News
Worship Turns to Fellowship for the Summer
Hi Unity Family,
After a lively conversation about the pros and cons of continuing with services over the summer, we decided to pause. We know that for many this will be a relief, and for some it will be a disappointment.
To those of you who did enjoy summer services or even relied on them for Fellowship, the Worship Committee would like to say that it wasn't a decision made casually. We are sorry for the loss it will be to some of you, but in the end we felt, overall, it would be more loving to the entire community to encourage a break from the organizing and contributing to Sunday services.
We have all worked hard together to make this year such a success, work that will not diminish dramatically even when we find a part-time minister. We, over at the Worship Committee, want you to continue to be active participants making Sundays so fulfilling, and we want you to rest up before we start calling again!
But just because Sunday Services end, doesn't mean Fellowship has too! Please join us for Fellowship in the Parish Hall for a potluck
on the third Friday of the month at 6:00pm
, that is:
Come and share your summer adventures, your troubled waters, and your restful musings!
Stay tuned to the website
, or the Unity News
for any other announcements and group activities that could be planned to give us a chance to gather together for fun and fellowship over the summer. We have already heard some great ideas thrown about out there!
Thank you for your amazing support this year! Have a wonderful summer! See you at Water Communion on September 8th - or at a potluck!
Your Friends on the Worship Committee,
Jannelle Codianni, Michelle Blake, Kate Haven, Anne Fredericks, Mark Kunemund, Jason Gold, and Donna Taylor.
Unity Church Book Group
The Unity Church Book Group meets on the first Wednesday of each month.
The meetings will be held on at Noon
at the home of Walter Tramontano
. All are welcome! For information about the book selection or directions please contact Michele Blake at 508-230-2839
Does a CommUnity Yard Sale Sound Like Fun?
I love yard sales. Do you? In the past, yard sales at Unity have been great fundraisers and have attracted many visitor
s. It has been a couple of years since our last yard sale and I was wondering if there is interest in having one this fall?
If you are interested in helping to plan a CommUNITY yard sale, please contact me, Cheryl Brigante at email@example.com
There are no preconceived plans, we will decide as a group how we want to work it. So, give me a call or email, if you are interested in this venture.
Executive Committee News
Executive Committee Meeting Schedule Change
To better accommodate the schedules of our Executive Committee members, Executive Committee meetings will be moved from the second Tuesday of the month to the third Tuesday of the month at 7pm starting Tuesday June 18th. Also, for the summer, the EC will meet in the much cooler Parish Hall rather than Holly House. Please call President Chris Pender with any questions.
At the beginning of every Executive Committee meeting, we go around the table and ask if there are any special affirmations anyone would like to make. Though they do make it into the EC meeting minutes every month, we thought it would be nice to express this appreciation in a more public way.
So, they are included in our Unity News regularly! Here are the
- Ellen Dehm notes the sad passing of Town of Easton Historical Commission chairperson Melanie Deware. Melanie was a staunch supporter of the Unity Church Restoration project and was instrumental in helping us to get two Community Preservation Act grants approved at Town Meeting. Melanie spoke about the importance and beauty of our church building at many public forums.
- Sexton Bernie Champagne for doing mulching and helping with Holly House painting project.
- Jannelle Codianni, Cheryl Brigante, and for all those who helped with set up and clean up, for a wonderful June Jubilee.
- Thanks to Ernie Cohen for his years of service on the Executive Committee.
- Welcome and thanks for serving to our new slate of elected church leaders!
- Congratulations to Deanna and Adam Greenstein on the arrival of baby boy Jude.
- The Concert for A New Day raised a total of: $1173. Great job Jenn Gold, Frank Smith, Jeff Messier, and Dick Hill!
- Relay for Life: This effort was lead by Jenn Gold, who raised approximately two thousand for the American Cancer Society. Cheryl Brigante and the Codianni Family also participated.
- Thanks go to Chris Pender, Ernie Cohen, Bob and Andy Champagne-Willis, and Ellen Dehm for the spring-cleaning they did of the back parking lot.
- Thanks go to the the Minister Search Committee (Melanie D'Aiello, Mark Kunemund, Carolyn McCaferty) for their continued commitment and hard work.
To read all the EC minutes, click here to Login as a Member.
If you have affirmations that you would like to pass on, please share them by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Minister Search Information is NOW on the Web!
The Minister search webpage on our site is complete, and has lots of great information and photo galleries. Anyone who logs in as a member can see this information by going to the Minister Search
tab under Member Access
Not sure how to log into the web as a member?You will want to take a look!
Here's just one of the incredible pieces of content in the packet:
Have You Seen the Cool NEW Committee Booklet?
Thanks to our Executive Committee Clerk, Ellen Dehm, and many Committee Chairs, we now have a booklet that includes descriptions of each committee, and photos of each committee member. The booklet will be updated annually with new committee member photos. This will make it so much easier, especially for newer church members, to put faces to those names they have heard!
To view or download a copy of the booklet, just click the logo above. You will need to log in as a member to access this document. If you are not sure how to log in as a member, click here to contact the Web Administrator for instructions.
We will also keep a copy or two posted in Parish Hall on the cork board.
Looking for Unity Church Member Contact information?
You can find it on our web site under the Member Access menu,
after you log in as a member.
Now in a more eco-friendly format of 6 (or 3, 2-sided) printable pages!
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|Photo Credits for this Issue of the Unity News|
Cathy Adler, Ellen Dehm and Bob Champagne-Willis
Unity News Contact Info
For questions or comments regarding this message, please contact Cathy Adler, Unity News Managing Editor & Web Administrator, at email@example.com .